Piercing Technique

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How a piercing is performed.

Most body piercings done at professional studios are performed using a hubless hollow needle followed by jewelry. To simplify, the piercing procedure generally goes as follows (note: disinfection procedure is omitted, as this is an overview):

  • The placement is marked at the entrance and exit points of the piercing.
  • In many cases, the skin to be pierced is held by clamps, but this is not universal (many piercers prefer a freehand piercing method). Alternately, for piercings such as a rook, a pair of mosquito forceps or similar device may be used to support the tissue, and for piercings such as nostrils and PAs, a receiving tube may be used to both support the tissue and "catch" the needle.
  • The piercing is done with a hollow, hubless needle (no locking mechanism to attach it to a syringe. just a metal tube). For most piercings the gauge of the needle (the outer diameter) is the same as the jewelry, but in cartilage a larger needle is often used to allow for "breathing room", while in piercings such as PAs, a smaller gauge may be used since the tissue will stretch quickly anyway, and it will reduce bleeding slightly.
  • The jewelry is butted up against the back of the needle and is followed through the piercing hole. In some cases a taper is used behind the needle with the jewelry then following the taper. This allows both a jump in gauge if desired as well as making tricky follow-throughs easier and safer.
  • The needle is discarded, leaving only the jewelry in place.

Please note that there are many valid variations on basic piercing technique.


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